Tuesday, July 1, 2008

Marketing 2.0 with Visual Networking

Visual Networking is yet another web 2.0 marketing tool I’ve added to my virtual briefcase. Visual Networking is a mash-up of digital video and social networking capabilities. The video aspect offers an interactive and engaging way to tell my story while the social networking capabilities allow the viewers to collaborate, comment and share ideas on what they've seen. Here are a few B2B examples I'm aware of, all of which involve creating a persona to demonstrate a point:

Cisco's Disconnected Life Webisode Series - Don and Rhoda Delay's network and communication problems have led them to marriage counseling as they illustrate the 'disconnected life' that I know I couldn't bare. Where's the social networking? Well thanks to YouTube it's in the ability to comment on each of the videos (and keep delivery costs low).

Blue Coat's Bob Kent Stories - Bob Kent represents the bad employee in every company who misuses the Internet at everyone else's expense. The exaggerated stories are ones that anyone in an office environment can relate to. Looking for a way to collaborate? Participate in the monthly contest by submitting your story and you may just get a Nintendo Wii out of it!

Tibco's Greg the Architect - Greg represents the hero that every techy wants to be and no challenge is too small. There's no social networking aspect that I can see so maybe this is just straight video but it's still pretty creative and adding the social component would be easy to do.

Any other examples you think should be added to this list? Feel free to share.


minesm said...

Interesting post. Certainly, visual networking has a lot of promise (http://tinyurl.com/62r2ey) and garners interest. Your 3 examples lead me to suggest the following...

Won't visual networking efforts start to develop categories based on intended results? It's hard to compare the "Greg the architect" experience/success with something like the "Connected Life" videos or something like "Peter Packet" (http://tinyurl.com/3llqut).

It seems as if we're in a rush for "eyeballs" and still in need of measuring efforts based on their ability to reach/engage their intended audience. I think we'd all agree that gaining eyeballs (ala, Super Bowl ads) don't always spell success for most companies (unless eyeballs are all you're after).

And, with visual networking...the lifetime of an asset is longer and it's ultimate impact can build in momentum quickly (or over time).

How do you think we'll initially "classify" online visual assets? Will it be based on style (humor, educational, et.al) or on desired impact?

LaSandra Brill said...

Thanks for your insightful comment minesm. I think you’re right, especially from a B2B perspective, that just gaining eyeballs isn't the goal; but rather connecting to a much more targeted demographic.

As for how visual networking assets will be classified I think YouTube has a pretty good list of options to choose from. From a marketing perspective the bigger question you bring up below is not how they will be classified but how will they be measured. The answer to that depends on the desired goal and for that I turn to Charlene Li's 'Five reasons companies should participate in the Groundswell' - http://blogs.forrester.com/charleneli/2007/04/the_five_reason.html: Listening, Speaking, Energizing, Supporting, and Embracing. Once you know what your objective is, knowing how to get there and when you're there will be clearer. For example: for many marketing campaigns, 'Speaking' is the objective - it is about extending your message and your presence and video is just one tool available to do that.